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Saturday Night Hockey: Flyers Trying to Get Up Off the Mat Versus Hurricanes

Feb 2, 2013, 5:59 PM EDT

Go to the tallest building you can find, stand at the base,
and gaze skyward at the top. That’s the kind of view the Flyers will have to
get used to if they don’t start winning some games fast.

With Friday night’s 3-2 loss, Philadelphia has replaced the
Washington Capitals as the worst team in the Eastern Conference, tied with the
Florida Panthers at four points apiece – and the Panthers actually have a game
on them. Now that the Flyers are one-sixth of the way through their 48-game
schedule, this is quickly becoming serious business.

Meanwhile, Saturday’s opponent was busy making moves to
climb out of the basement, something the Flyers might like to try. The Carolina
Hurricanes are coming off of a 1-0 victory over the Ottawa Senators last night,
giving them three victories in their last four tilts.

The Canes will stick with Dan Ellis in goal after he pitched
the shutout, dropping Carolina’s goals against per game from an unsightly 3.60
to a more manageable 3.00 in the process. The veteran Ellis is 2-0 on the
season, with a league-leading .977 save percentage and 0.75 GAA.

To make matters worse, Philly took another hit in the
scoring department on Friday. Wayne Simmonds will miss tonight’s game with head
and neck injuries following an elbow to the face, and will undergo more tests
on Sunday. The Flyers remain in 26th in the NHL in scoring, averaging two goals
per game.

Ilya Bryzgalov is making his third straight start in net, allowed
to play the back-to-back since the Flyers entered the stretch off of a two-day
hiatus. He’s been playing well for the most part, but his teammates hung him
out to dry in D.C., with two of his three goals allowed coming on breakaways.
Bryz’s record is now just 2-5 despite posting some decent numbers.

The Flyers are back in their own building after four
straight on the road, and will have a bit of advantage with the Hurricanes
being forced to travel up the coast to make the puck drop. The way the Orange
& Black sweaters have been skating though, those types of advantages may
not mean very much at all.